Colt Anderson would look great in Silver and Black

Colt Anderson would look great in Silver and Black

As the year 2003 came to a close, I professed that Colt Anderson was crazy to walk on with the University of Montana football team.

The Butte High senior, I said, should go to Montana Tech, start along side Bulldog teammate Cole Salo and be a star in the Frontier Conference.

That would be better than being a benchwarmer in the Big Sky Conference.

A decade and a half later, I find myself trying to talk Anderson into one more season in the National Football League. Specifically, I would like to see Anderson play for the Oakland Raiders.

The Butte boy would look great in the iconic Silver and Black of the Raiders. Of course, Colt has the fashion sense to know that, too.

He is one of the guys behind UpTop Clothing. The company is named after a celebration Anderson was known for as he was becoming an All-American with the Montana Grizzlies, and nearly every boy and girl in the state dresses like him.

If he joins the Raiders, the new Silver and Black UpTop line will sell like hotcakes.

The reason I think Colt would look good in Raiders colors has nothing to do with fashion, though. It has to do with Mike Mayock.

Mayock, who had a brief career at safety with the New York Giants, has worked as a draft analyst for the NFL Network, served as a color man for some NFL games, and was part of NBC’s coverage of Notre Dame football.

On TV, Mayock has demonstrated that he knows more about evaluating talent for the NFL than 10 Mel Kipers and 100 Todd McShays combined.

Mayock has also long been one of Anderson’s biggest fans.

After Colt spent the 2009 season on the practice squad in Minnesota, Mayock called a 2010 preseason Vikings game on the NFL Network.

He repeatedly praised the play of Anderson, saying he belongs on an NFL roster. He praised him so much that you would have thought Mayock was related to Colt.

“He was awesome,” Anderson said with a laugh when asked about Mayock during an appearance on KBOW Overtime last Wednesday. “It’s kind of funny looking back and how it all transpired. He would pull me up after practice and just kind of give a couple of words of encouragement.”

Mayock was right about Anderson, who will again be the special guest for the 6th Annual Cystic Fibrosis Benefit March Madness Calcutta Wednesday night at the Butte Country Club.

The Eagles signed Colt off the Vikings practice squad midway through the 2010 season, and Anderson served as a team captain for Philadelphia during a playoff game.

“After I did get a chance in Philadelphia, (Mayock) was doing the Thursday night games. So I ran into him a couple of times,” Anderson said. “He came up to me on pregame and said, ‘I told you. I told you you’d get your chance.’”

On Dec. 31, the Raiders hired Mayock to help rebuild the once-proud franchise. So, you would have to believe that he would be interested in a certain safety/special teams ace who sat out the 2018 season after playing nine seasons in the NFL.

Anderson will turn 34 during the 2019 football season. While that is still very young, it is old for a football player.

That is something Anderson, who has suffered a torn ACL, a broken arm (twice) and concussions while playing for the Vikings, Eagles, Colts and Bills, knows all too well.

He doesn’t sound like a guy too eager to play football again.

“Obviously, I miss the game days and I miss the locker room,” he said. “I don’t miss waking up on Mondays and Tuesdays, barely getting out of bed, struggling to brush my teeth. I don’t miss that.”

Anderson’s journey through the NFL was a great ride. His first regular-season NFL game was a 58-28 Eagles win at Washington on Monday Night Football Nov. 15, 2010. He was awarded a game ball for his debut performance.

His last play was when he broke a couple of ribs while diving to try to intercept a Blake Bortles pass in the fourth quarter of Buffalo’s 10-3 playoff loss at Jacksonville on Jan. 7, 2018.

Between those games, Anderson got to be teammates with NFL stars like Brett Favre, Michael Vick and Andrew Luck. He became good friends with Vince Papale, the former Eagle played by Mark Wahlberg in the 2006 movie Invincible.

Anderson is part of two special teams plays that will be played on NFL Films forever — the Eagles’ Miracle of the Meadowlands II in 2010 and the Colts’ ridiculously horrible botched trick play in 2015.

In January of 2015, Anderson was part of the banged-up Colts team that lost 45-7 in the AFC Championship game because Tom Brady deflated the footballs.

He intercepted a Robert Griffin III pass.

While a practice squad player from the Vikings, Colt picked off a Favre pass, even if the scout team defense wasn’t supposed to do that against the Hall of Famer.

“I picked it off and I ran a little bit. I was like, shoot, I was supposed to drop it. Brett came up to me and said, ‘Hey, do you want me to sign that ball for you,’” Anderson said, imitating Favre’s southern drawl. “I’ve got to play it cool like I’ve been here before, I and I said ‘No, I’m good.’”

Anderson’s career surpassed even his own expectations when he boldly decided to walk on at Montana instead of taking a scholarship at Tech.

“Never in my wildest dreams could I imagine it would end up like it did,” he said.

Anderson said he lived that dream because enough people believed in him. When he was thinking about going back and playing for Montana Tech, his teammate Rob Schulte talked him into one more semester in Missoula and one more spring with the Griz.

Colt had another major supporter in assistant coach Tim Hauck, the brother of Grizzly head coach Bobby Hauck. Tim knew what it took to be a safety, starring for the Griz before playing 13 seasons in the NFL.

As a sophomore, Colt worked his way up from third string to first string safety during the preseason camp. He temporarily lost that job when he made a huge tackle on a running back during practice.

While the defense thought the play was live, head coach Bobby Hauck and the offense did not.

“He came up, yelled at me and said to run. Then he told Tim I got demoted down to second or third team,” Colt said of Bobby Hauck, a man and coach Anderson respects tremendously. “It was a really cool experience that Tim after practice went up and told Bobby, from what I understand, that, ‘If he’s not my starter then I quit.’ That was awesome that he had that confidence in me.”

Today, Colt has the backs of every kid in town the same way. He and his wife, Keelie, started the Colt Anderson Dream Big Foundation that helps young boys and girls be the best that the can be.

“Anything is possible if you work hard and have a good attitude,” is the message Colt has for the kids.

So, that means one more season in the NFL is still possible, right?

“That would be cool, but I think it’s over,” Anderson said.

The “I think” makes me believe that there is still a chance that I can finally get it right when offering unsolicited advice to Colt Anderson.

“I’m definitely not in the shape I was in when I was playing,” he said. “But if you give me a couple of months, I could probably get back to it.”

Yep, watch out for that new Silver and Black line from UpTop.

— Bill Foley, who would rather see Anderson play the 2019 season in Navy, Orange and White, writes a column that appears Tuesdays on ButteSports.com. Email him at foley@buttesports.com. Follow him at twitter.com/Foles74. 4 comments



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4 Comments

  • Ted Richar
    March 19, 2019, 5:02 pm

    Great article as always.

    REPLY
    • Rick Anderson@Ted Richar
      March 19, 2019, 9:01 pm

      Great article Foles. He always makes our family proud.

      REPLY
  • Pat
    March 19, 2019, 11:17 pm

    The letter May 2006 Attn: PAt Foley Hall of Fame class of 2005 Re: amendment to the Halls rules. I will pick one team wihich I feel is deserving to be inducted. The committee will select only two teams and no more than eight lndiviviuals effect 2007

    REPLY
  • Pat
    March 20, 2019, 12:22 am

    New letter found date 2012 of May

    REPLY

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